Tirukural – Chapter 18

Chapter 18: Avoidance of Covetousness

A beggar has come to the door of a woman who brings him a savory bowl of food. Though impoverished, he points out a valuable necklace she has dropped, showing he does not wish another’s wealth to be his. A tortoise rests nearby, his limbs withdrawn into his shell, a metaphor for withdrawing the senses of desire.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 171

In the very attempt to wrongly gain another’s wealth,
a man forfeits his family’s future and his own faultlessness.

Verse 172

Those who deem injustice shameful never commit
guilt-yielding deeds driven by money-yielding desires.

Verse 173

Those who seek immortal bliss will not succumb
to immoral deeds that follow desire for fleeting delights.

Verse 174

With senses conquered and sight unclouded by depravity,
one will not wish for others’ wealth, even in destitution.

Verse 175

What avails a man’s subtle and comprehensive learning,
if, crazed by covetousness, he treats others insensibly?

Verse 176

Desiring grace and doing his duty, a man who desires wealth
but acquires it wrongly is destroyed nevertheless.

Verse 177

Do not seek the fortune that greed gathers,
for its fruit is bitter on the day of enjoyment.

Verse 178

To protect one’s own prosperity from decline,
one must not crave the property held by others.

Verse 179

Just as wise men know the goodness of noncoveting,
so Fortune Herself knows their goodness and draws near.

Verse 180

There is a thoughtless desire for others’ things that is destructive.
There is a mindful pride that, in refusing to covet, is triumphant.

Tirukural – Chapter 17

Chapter 17: Avoidance of Envy

Verse 166
There is a room filled with beautiful objects and in it a family finds contentment. In the adjoining apartment an impoverished woman is hiding behind the curtain, envious of her neighbors. Her husband has his hand on his head to indicate suffering and the children are pulling at her clothes.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 161

The unenvious heart is to be valued
no less than virtuous conduct itself.

Verse 162

Among the many precious things a man may acquire,
none surpasses a nature free from envy toward all.

Verse 163

They say he who is jealous instead of joyous of another’s wealth
clearly desires no wealth or virtue of his own.

Verse 164

Envy will never cause one to commit wrongful deeds
who rightly fathoms the disgrace that follows.

Verse 165

A man’s own envy is foe enough to forge his ruin,
even if he has no other enemies.

Verse 166

Whoever begrudges another’s bounty will watch
his kindred die in poverty, naked and starving.

Verse 167

Goddess Fortune, intolerant of those who cannot tolerate others’
success, introduces them to her sister, Misfortune, and goes away.

Verse 168

The wicked one called Envy consumes this world’s wealth,
then consigns sinners to those worlds of hellish fire.

Verse 169

It is worth pondering why good men may be poor
while the envious in heart can prosper.

Verse 170

There are no envious men who have risen to prosperity.
There are no men free from envy who have fallen from it.

Tirukural – Chapter 16

Chapter 16: Possession of Forbearance

Verse 155
An angry man, surrounded by filth, is about to strike another man who remains calm. The victim, refusing to retaliate, is sitting on a pile of gold bricks.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 151

Just as the Earth bears those who dig into her,
it is best to bear with those who despise us.

Verse 152

It is always good to endure injuries done to you,
but to forget them is even better.

Verse 153

It is impoverished poverty to be inhospitable to guests.
It is stalwart strength to be patient with fools.

Verse 154

Desiring that greatness should never cease,
let one’s conduct foster forbearance.

Verse 155

Worthless are those who injure others vengefully,
while those who stoically endure are like stored gold.

Verse 156

The joy of the vengeful lasts only for a day,
but the glory of the forbearing lasts until the end of time.

Verse 157

Though unjustly aggrieved, it is best to suffer the suffering
and refrain from unrighteous retaliation.

Verse 158

Let a man conquer by forbearance
those who in their arrogance have wronged him.

Verse 159

Those who patiently endure rude remarks
possess the rare purity of an ascetic.

Verse 160

Great are those who suffer fasting’s hardships; yet they
are surpassed by those who suffer hard words.

Tirukural – Chapter 15

Chapter 15: Not Coveting Another’s Wife

Verse 148
A man is talking to a friend who is seated on the porch of their house with his wife. In order to be proper and not covet her, he is casting his gaze at her feet and not into her eyes. The clear light of his aura reflects his purity of thought.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 141

Those who know virtue’s laws and marital rights
never indulge in the folly of desiring another man’s wife.

Verse 142

Among those who stand outside virtue, there is no greater fool
than he who stands with a lustful heart outside another’s gate.

Verse 143

No different from the dead are those who
wickedly desire the wife of a friend.

Verse 144

Though a man’s measure be mountainous, what good is it
if, without the minutest concern, he takes another’s wife?

Verse 145

A man who seduces another man’s wife, knowing she is easy,
suffers a shame that neither dies nor diminishes.

Verse 146

Hatred, sin, fear and disgrace–these four
never forsake the man who commits adultery.

Verse 147

He is decreed a worthy householder who holds
no desire for the womanly charms of another’s wife.

Verse 148

The chivalry that does not look upon another’s wife
is not mere virtue–it is saintly conduct.

Verse 149

In a world encircled by the awesome sea, to whom do good things
belong? To men never impassioned to caress a married woman.

Verse 150

Though a man deserts virtue and indulges in vice, he keeps
some decency by not wanting another’s wife’s womanliness.

Tirukural – Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Possession of Virtuous Conduct

Verse 131
It is said that men grow bigger by acts of goodness. Here a small boy is feeding and petting a cat. A second youth is bathing his elderly father. Below a devotee is offering his wages to help build his favorite temple.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 131

Virtuous conduct leads a man to eminent greatness.
Therefore, it should be guarded as more precious than life itself.

Verse 132

In your striving, be mindful to preserve good conduct.
In your deliberations, discover it is your staunchest ally.

Verse 133

Morality is the birthright of high families,
while immoral conduct’s legacy is lowly birth.

Verse 134

If a priest forgets the Vedas, he can relearn them.
But if he falls from virtue, his high birth is forever lost.

Verse 135

Prosperity is not for the envious,
nor is greatness for men of impure conduct.

Verse 136

The firm-minded never slacken in upholding virtuous conduct,
for they know the miseries brought on by such neglect.

Verse 137

By honest conduct one achieves honorable eminence,
while corrupt conduct brings one nothing but blame.

Verse 138

Good conduct is the seed in virtue’s field;
wicked conduct’s harvest is never-ending sorrow.

Verse 139

Men who conduct themselves virtuously
are incapable of voicing harmful words, even forgetfully.

Verse 140

Those who cannot live in harmony with the world,
though they have learned many things, are still ignorant.

Tirukural – Chapter 13

Chapter 13: Possession of Self-Control

Verse 124
With a massive mountain behind him, a man sits before trays of delicious food. Others are gathered around, gossiping, drinking and otherwise indulging themselves, as he sits detached from such temptations.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 121

Self-control will place one among the Gods,
while lack of it will lead to deepest darkness.

Verse 122

Guard your self-control as a precious treasure,
for there is no greater wealth in life than this.

Verse 123

Comprehending and acquiring self-control
confers upon one the esteem of wise men.

Verse 124

More imposing than a mountain is the greatness of a man who,
steadfast in domestic life, has mastered self-control.

Verse 125

Humility is a precious quality in all people,
but it has a rare richness in the rich.

Verse 126

Like a tortoise withdrawing five limbs into its shell, those who
restrain the five senses in one life will find safe shelter for seven.

Verse 127

Whatever you may fail to guard, guard well your tongue,
for flawed speech unfailingly invokes anguish and affliction.

Verse 128

The goodness of all one’s virtues can be lost
by speaking even a single word of injury.

Verse 129

The wound caused by fire heals in its time;
the burn inflicted by an inflamed tongue never heals.

Verse 130

Virtue will wait in the streets to meet a man
possessed of learning and self-discipline, his anger subdued.

New Art Collections on HAMSA

Signing to God, Gods and guru

Aum Namah Sivaya

You can now enjoy two more collections of artwork available on the Himalayan Academy Museum of Spiritual Art. The first is an informative collection of the traditional 32 forms of Ganesha as found in the Mudgala Purana. These pieces of art are joined by their scriptural description found in the Purana’s Dhyana Slokas.

The second collection consists of the entirety of the black and white artwork found in our Saivite Hindu Religion Course, books 1, 2 and 3. The art includes the english captions from the books and would be perfect for children to color in. Feel free to download them and print them.

Tirukural – Chapter 12

Chapter 12: Impartiality

Verse 118
A man is sitting with two others, one on each side. He is there to make a judgment, to balance things fairly. From above, a deva places a crown on the central figure to acknowledge his fairness.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 111

Justice may be called good when it acts impartially
toward enemies, strangers and friends.

Verse 112

The wealth of those who possess justice will not perish;
rather it will be their posterity’s soothing security.

Verse 113

However prosperous it may seem, all wealth gained
by loss of rightness must be relinquished that very day.

Verse 114

In their offspring one may doubtlessly discern
who are the just and who are the unjust.

Verse 115

Adversity and prosperity never cease to exist. The adornment
of great men’s minds is to remain unswervingly just under both.

Verse 116

When his heart forsakes fairness and his deeds turn depraved,
a man realizes deep within himself, “I am ruined.”

Verse 117

Though a man is profoundly impoverished,
if he remains just, the world will not regard him as poor.

Verse 118

To incline to neither side, like a balance scale’s level beam,
and thus weigh impartially is the wise one’s ornament.

Verse 119

Speech uttered without bias is integrity,
if no unspoken bias lurks in the heart.

Verse 120

Those businessmen will prosper whose business
protects as their own the interests of others.

Tirukural – Chapter 11

Chapter 11: Gratitude

Verse 108
Standing in the golden footstep of God Siva with his arms raised high above his head in thanks for the magnificence of creation, a devotee exudes gratitude for all the things he never asked for but were given to him.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 101

The bounty of Heaven and Earth are scant repayment
for help rendered though no help was received.

Verse 102

A kindness done in the hour of need may itself be small,
but in worth it exceeds the whole world.

Verse 103

When help is given by weighing the recipient’s need
and not the donor’s reward, its goodness is greater than the sea.

Verse 104

While aid may outwardly seem as puny as a mustard seed,
those who know will deem it as imposing as a towering palm.

Verse 105

Help rendered another cannot be measured by the extent of
assistance given. Its real measure is the recipient’s worthiness.

Verse 106

Never forget fellowship with pure souls,
nor forsake friendship with those who aided you in adversity.

Verse 107

For seven lives in seven bodies the grateful will remember
friends who relieved their anguish and affliction.

Verse 108

It is improper to ever forget a kindness,
but good to forget at once an injury received.

Verse 109

The deadliest injury is effaced the moment
the mind recalls a single kindness received from the injurer.

Verse 110

Having killed every kind of goodness, one may yet be saved,
but there is no redemption for those who let gratitude die.

Tirukural – Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Speaking Pleasant Words

Verse 93
An old lady is sitting on the bed. Her granddaughter holds her hand, smiles and offers encouraging words. Above, the devas see the young one’s goodness and offer heavenly blessings.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 91

Pleasant words, full of tenderness and devoid of deceit,
fall from the lips of virtuous men.

Verse 92

Better than a gift given with a joyous heart
are sweet words spoken with a cheerful smile.

Verse 93

A kindly countenance and sweet words
spoken from the heart are virtue’s way.

Verse 94

Poverty-provoking sorrow will not pursue
those who speak joy-producing words to all they meet.

Verse 95

Humility and pleasant words are the jewels
that adorn a man; there are none other.

Verse 96

If a man seeks to do good while speaking sweet words,
his virtues will wax and his vices will wane.

Verse 97

Words yield spiritual rewards and moral excellence
when they do not wander far from usefulness and agreeableness.

Verse 98

Sweet speech that is a stranger to pettiness
imparts pleasure not only in this life, but in the next.

Verse 99

Why would anyone speak cruel words,
having observed the happiness that kind words confer?

Verse 100

To utter harsh words when sweet ones would serve
is like eating unripe fruits when ripe ones are at hand.

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